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[Masonite division of International Paper Co] A registered trademark for a type of hardboard building material first made in 1924 by William H. Mason. Masonite is a wet process fiberboard composed of fine wood fibers compressed into a dense, rigid sheet with heat. The fibers are held together by the natural binders from the pulp with no additional adhesive. Masonite boards do not bend or warp easily but the sheets are brittle and break under pressure. Standard Masonite Presdwood is brown in color with one very smooth surface; the reverse side has a wire screen impression. Some artists have coated the rough surface with gesso and used it as a painting support. Tempered Presdwood is prepared with an oil that adds weather resistance to the board, but makes it less receptive to paint or gesso.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Presdwood; hardboard; fiberboard ; high-density board

Hazards and Safety

Any wood product may release organic acids with time.

Additional Information

C. Gould, K. Konrad, K. Milley, R. Gallagher, "Fiberboard", Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995. A.Katlan, "Early Wood-Fiber Panels: Masonite, Hardboard and Lower-Density Boards" JAIC 33:301-306, 1994.

Sources Checked for Data in Record